To say that this week has been a bad week for hip hop tours in Australia is a vast understatement.

While next Anzac Day was going to see the kick-off of not one, but two major hip hop festivals touring around the country, with the inaugural Nas-curated Movement Festival and the all-ages urban festival Supafest to face off in capital cities around the country, both experienced an utter collapse just days before their respective launches.

After suffering severe setbacks, including losing headline acts 2 Chainz and Angel Haze and downsizing venues, Live Nation and Niche Productions entry into the festival market, Movement was cancelled entirely.

In eerie timing later the same day, Supafest postponed its four-date run through the Anzac Day long weekend to later this year in November, confirming the controversial rumours that it had been dumped by the venues at its Melbourne and Brisbane legs, as well as concerns that some of its headline acts – including T.I., Ne-Yo, and Akon – were not secured to appear at Supafest 2013; echoing last year’s Supafest in which P, Diddy, Missy Elliot and Rick Ross were pulled off the lineup days out from the event; with some revealing that they were never even booked for the event in the first place.

From the evidence of Movement and Supafest, it would seem that the supposed curse on the Australian hip hop festival and touring market wasn’t so much a case of superstition as a reality.

But an unlikely defendant of the stricken music festivals, and the genre as a whole, has emerged in the form of Patrick Whyntie, the promoter of embattled music festival Heatwave – which fell over in spectacular fashion at the start of the year amidst its own embroiling controversy. “Hip-Hop as a genre [shouldn’t] be pigeon holed as impossible to tour or pull off in the format of a festival in Australia,” – Patrick Whyntie, Heatwave

In a lengthy statement posted to Heatwave’s Facebook page to it’s some 7,000 followers, Whyntie (aka MC Mastacraft) urges Australian lovers of hip-hop not to give up on tours and festivals despite the dramatic turn of events that resulted in the Movement cancellation and Supafest postponement.

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“Hip-Hop as a genre [shouldn’t] be pigeon holed as impossible to tour or pull off in the format of a festival in Australia,” writes Whyntie. “Many artists are a pleasure to tour & there have been hundreds of successful solo tours & festival-like events held in the past.”

The promoter also goes into detail about the troubled Heatwave festival, which faced serious financial problems after artists failed to showorganisers seemingly messed up infrastructure, and VIP ticket perks failed to materialise. You only need read our Tone Deaf reviewer’s assessment of the Melbourne leg’s comedy of errors to get a good picture of the festival’s problems.

In his statement, Whyntie says that local councils were to blame for Heatwave’s difficulties. Saying “the major reason behind the mounting issues with Heatwave was in fact sparked from a vicious change in heart from the Local police & council.”

The Heatwave promoter also attacked South Australian council for deceiving a local indigenous community about the Heatwave festival site for its Adelaide leg, “The local Alexandrina council went as far as to mislead the local aboriginal community regarding the events location and that the proposed land was sacred,” he says.

“I invite anyone to question our planning, site maps, safety measures, evac plans, fire safety plans, original cash flow planning & overall preparation because it was all there & done to a T,” he adds.

“The knock on effect of these time consuming, draining legal battles had serious implications it put us behind the mark, injured us on the court & we had no choice but to plough through it all – we felt cancelling would be disastrous.”

Whyntie also admits that Eminem-associated hip hop crew D12 were a major concern for Heatwave, billed as one of the festival’s drawcards, the Michigan collective became an unreliable commodity, failing to turn up to several scheduled performances around the country, with the Heatwave promoter confirming he is pursuing legal action against D12.

“The D12 issue with them missing the first 3 flights has been something we were heavily criticized for,” writes Whyntie. “I would like to report there has now been a lawsuit launched against D12 for breach of the contract for this issue… I would love to go into more detail & will in due time.”

Whyntie’s statement concludes:

I simply started this to shed some light & let people know the real intentions & issues promoters/festivals face in Australia. It’s a tough job, people risk their health, finances & unfortunately the run has been brutal in times of late but the Australian public need to keep the faith in hip-hop as a whole; it has worked here, will work here again & is simply experiencing a very rough run.

Unlike Nas’s album title HIP HOP IS NOT DEAD”

You can read Patrick Whyntie’s full statement below:

Dear Australia/media/fans & any still interested I have decided to shed light upon a few issues after seeing our name was brought up a lot in today’s media with the announcement Movement Festival was unfortunately cancelled & Supafest 2013 was postponed citing issues to November.

Hip-Hop as a genre should however not be pigeon holed as impossible to tour or pull off in the format of a festival in Australia. Many artists are a pleasure to tour & there have been hundreds of successful solo tours & festival-like events held in the past. America has a very successful brand of festival ‘Rock The Bells’.

Many behind the scenes issues have plagued major events & we can speak only from our experiences as everything else around other event companies is only gossip which I will not delve on. The major reason behind the mounting issues with Heatwave was in fact sparked from a vicious change in heart from the Local police & council. The local Alexandrina council went as far as to mislead the local aboriginal community regarding the events location and that the proposed land was sacred. There was a letter of objection on that basis to the liquor license commissioner however Heatwaves location was not on sacred land it was 13k/m from the coast so we held meetings with previously elected member Mary Beckett & resolved this issue right away with Torn Trevorrow (Chairperson Ngarrindjeri Heritage Committee Inc.).

We then faced a legal battle which spilled over the $40,000 mark just to host a well organized, planned & safe event on private land. Like getting chart smashing, platinum artists, celebrities to a regional coastal town 1 hour out of Adelaide wasn’t hard enough? Many thought it would be impossible for us to obtain the liquor license however it was granted with both SAPOL & Council objections & even till the last day kept fighting with the threat of arrest if we proceeded.

This above battle drained time, effort, finances & more from the festival team who were simply planning a well run, affordable ticketed event in a regional south Australian area which had faced serious youth issues in the past. Heatwave was born because the coastal town had NOTHING to do outside of recreational sports. Several youth suicides had occurred & we as a team wanted to put on something that injected some life into the Fleurieu Peninsula.

I invite anyone to question our planning, site maps, safety measures, evac plans, fire safety plans, original cash flow planning & overall preparation because it was all there & done to a T.

The knock on effect of these time consuming, draining legal battles had serious implications it put us behind the mark, injured us on the court & we had no choice but to plough through it all – we felt cancelling would be disastrous.

Here is a review of South Australia from one of Australia’s premier event companies who have had involvement in everything from Entertainment Centre shows, nightclubs to the festival circuit: http://www.ncet.co/index.php/site/news_detail/heatwave_festival_middleton/ unlike major media sites reporting this company had a firsthand view of everything backstage & front.

Now the D12 issue with them missing the first 3 flights has been something we were heavily criticized for. I would like to report there has now been a lawsuit launched against D12 for breach of the contract for this issue.

I would love to go into more detail & will in due time. I simply started this to shed some light & let people know the real intentions & issues promoters/festivals face in Australia. It’s a tough job, people risk their health, finances & unfortunately the run has been brutal in times of late but the Australian public need to keep the faith in hip-hop as a whole; it has worked here, will work here again & is simply experiencing a very rough run.

Unlike Nas’s album title HIP HOP IS NOT DEAD